Recent advances in biosensor development for the detection of cancer biomarkers

Biosens Bioelectron. 2017 May 15;91:15-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2016.12.014. Epub 2016 Dec 8.


Cancer is the second largest disease throughout the world with an increasing mortality rate over the past few years. The patient's survival rate is uncertain due to the limitations of cancer diagnosis and therapy. Early diagnosis of cancer is decisive for its successful treatment. A biomarker-based cancer diagnosis may significantly improve the early diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Biosensors play a crucial role in the detection of biomarkers as they are easy to use, portable, and can do analysis in real time. This review describes various biosensors designed for detecting nucleic acid and protein-based cancer biomarkers for cancer diagnosis. It mainly lays emphasis on different approaches to use electrochemical, optical, and mass-based transduction systems in cancer biomarker detection. It also highlights the analytical performances of various biosensor designs concerning cancer biomarkers in detail.

Keywords: Biomarker; Biosensor; Cancer; Diagnosis; Nanotechnology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Nucleic Acids / analysis
  • Proteins / analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Nucleic Acids
  • Proteins